We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Star Wars: the Libertarian subtext

Hooray for the new Star Wars film, Attack of the Clones. I haven’t seen it yet, it comes out in London on 16th May, but as a fan of the most successful film series of all time I already know that it will be about the increasingly cruel and devious Senator Palpatine, President of the Galactic Senate, who creates a false enemy – the clones – as an excuse to seize more power for himself.

This is excellent news for libertarianism. Why? In an age when classic fairytales, of the read-to-you-at–bedtime sort have become nearly extinct, the Star Wars trilogy, quite deliberately, filled that vacant space in the minds of children (and adults, I might add) with incredible success. The Star Wars films have been the most sociologically successful stories of all time – the characters, the underlying plot and the universe it depicted have become universally recognisable stereotypes of our age.

An entire generation has grown up, especially in the United States, taking much of their basic morality from these films. That morality, despite being simple and unoriginal, has become part of that generation’s meta-context. The new films are likely to be just as popular and influential with today’s children. This is the good news because any child growing up on the new “Star Wars films will absorb the basic idea that the most dangerous enemy of them all is a slick politician, who promises to make the world better by taking more power for himself, whilst being publicly apologetic about the necessity to do so. Years from now, when little Jimmy comes to cast his first vote, in the back of his mind will be the memory from the most powerful fairytale of his childhood – you can’t trust politicians, especially the ones who want more power. No matter what they say. And whilst that may not be enough to create a libertarian wonderland just yet, it certainly goes straight for the meta-contextual jugular.

And if that’s not good enough to make you love the new Star Wars film, let’s face it, Attack of the Clones is just too good a title to bash Britain’s New Labour with to resist.

Comments are closed.